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I may have made an error...

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April 11, 2010 3:12:48 AM

I know this is a PC based website, but this relates cross computer anyways.

Our MAC G4 has been freezing lately, forcing us to restart it every time. It got to the point where I decided to do a clean reinstall of the operating system (hasn't been done cleanly in the upwards of 5-7 years, just upgrades of the OS via CD). So, I rebooted, deleted the original HD assuming I had gotten all important data off, formatted and began the installation.

Installation froze 1 minute before finishing. Restarted, formatted again, (checked disk first, hardware shows no signs of damage) repeated. Same freezing 1 minute before the finish.

Add to all of this, I may have "misplaced" the 16,000 digital photos taken over the last decade...It doesn't appear to be on my Portable drive like I though. Incredible...

Is there any hope of getting my photos back, first of all (after two, possibly three reformats of the drive?)

Thanks anyways

More about : made error

Anonymous
a b G Storage
April 11, 2010 9:02:38 AM

The freezing, the missing pictures, the failure to complete an install -- tends to point to a hard drive hardware problem.

If there is more than one memory module in the computer, you might try removing each in turn and -- in between -- try reinstalling to see if one of the modules is faulty.

Another possibility is that failure occurs as the graphics circuitry is forced into a higher res -- revealing a fault in the graphics memory or some clash.

Realistically, if the computer is worth saving, a new hard drive would seem the most likely solution.
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April 11, 2010 12:13:17 PM

I was worried about the possibility of a hard drive failure, but I suppose its a major possibility given the age of the drive.

Although, interesting side note, the HD is a 137GB drive, though when I pulled it out the label shows as a 320GB. Could it actually be a 320GB that only shows as 137 in Mac OSX? I know that windows has a page file max of 137GB for something...

Anyways, thanks for the suggestions, I'll give each one a go and see what happens.
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a c 353 G Storage
April 11, 2010 3:40:52 PM

(1) Operating systems, and older BIOSs had a size limitation of 137 gigs, In XP it was a partition limitation and was increased in either service pac 1 or 2. Not sure about OSX. There were some work arounds for BIOS limitations.

(2) On Pitures. There are some programs that will attempt to recover lost files, Can Be a very "Painfull" operation, and is not 100 %. I know As I had to do that to about 100 Pictures. You will get a list of recoveable files and when the are recovered - NO recognizable file names. Also the files are recovered by cluster size, so picts will then have to be edited one at a time ( the ones I recoved, most had a White Bottom apendded to the bottom). You can also send the HDD in, But can be costly

(3) My recommendation - It's time to get a new machine. Granted it is probably the HDD - But what next and how soon. Do you want to fix and only put off going thru this again.
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a c 357 G Storage
April 12, 2010 1:20:10 AM

The 137 GB is a familiar number. It is related to support for "48-bit LBA".

Back around 1990 or so, computer designers realized that the interface system between a controller and the hard drive was going to become a major limit on HDD capacity. They created a new way, called LBA. In that system a controller told the drive what location it wanted to use with a single 28-bit binary number, the Logical Block Address. The hard drive's own on-board controller translated that into the numbers necessary to convert that to a Cylinder/Head/Sector address system and find the location. The translation is unique for each drive design, but the computer's OS and Drive Controllers don't need to know any of that. Given that the "standard" Sector on HDD's is 512 bytes, this system allows addressing 2^28 Blocks, or 268,435,456 Blocks, or 137,438,953,472 bytes. Look familiar?

By the end of the '90's people realized that was not going to work - HDD's were just getting too big! So a revised version of the system was implemented using a 48-bit LBA. Hypothetically this will allow addressing up to 144,115,188,075,855,872 bytes, and we'll take a while to get there. To make this work you need "48-bit LBA Support" in three places: the hard drive (obviously will be there if the drive is over 137 GB), the Hard Drive Controller on the motherboard (to send that large an address to the HDD), and the Operating System (to generate such an address). In anticipation of all this, mobo makers in the late 90's built 48-bit LBA Support into their BIOS's that run their on-board controllers, or issued updated BIOS code versions for previous mobos where possible, but not all machines were adaptable. On the other hand, the new system was in place BEFORE any of the SATA equipment come out, so ALL SATA drives and controllers have this support built in. The loose end, though, is the OS.

In the case of Windows, it was missing in the original release of Win XP and added in SP1, then maintained in all Windows since then. For the OS you have, I don't know. Try to find info on "48-bit LBA Support" in the particular OS you have. An OS that does NOT have this cannot Partition or use cleanly an HDD over 137 GB. Within Windows OS's, oddly, there are many reports that versions lacking this feature can still create and use properly two or more Partitions each less than 137 GB on on large HDD unit, but I don't know if that is so in Mac OS's.
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